Gothic 2 - A Virgin's Guide

Didn’t want to shit up the Gothic 3 thread with more rantings about G2, so here you go. I just bought the Gold edition (with the expansion) on Gamer’s Gate, a digital download service I hadn’t even HEARD of until some stranger saw my post in the Gothic 3 thread and sent me a link on my blog (thanks, stranger!).

I’m about 20 minutes in, having died a lot on the first several monsters, and it’s pretty cool, if fairly dated looking. The controls are weird, too, definitely not 1:1. You press forward and your dude slides about three paces, you can’t really strafe while running, and jumping is a “jump forward 10 paces” affair.

But there’s something charming about it. It’s hard, for one, which made it very satifying when I cleared out the initial cave by the waterfall after dying about 10 times (multiple enemies are hard!). Exploration is highly rewarded, too, with lots of goodies tucked in around the edges.

I’m still totally getting the hang of combat; for now I’m just hitting the lock on button (LMB) and whaling away on the directional attack keys and hoping for the best. Experimenting with blocking will probably pay off, but I haven’t even tried that yet.

All in all it’s pretty cool. Any general tips or good resources to be aware of?

It’s been a while, but let’s see
If you’re struggling with the bandits in the cave spend some time whacking down wolves, bees, and whatever. Learn to attack and quickly back off. Go do some missions at the farm and soon enough you’ll make it to the city. Once there explore a whole lot, but as far as I can remember there’s a certain house by the dock that can dangerous for you.

Early in the game, pretty much everything can kick your ass. Lure bigger enemies to nearby guards or villagers to beat them. As for battles - sidestepping is your friend to dodge initial attacks of orcs or those Shadow-something beasts. It’s also handy to have a bow around to be able to hit the enemies once or twice before they get into close combat range. Stay with the ‘lock on’ combat mode - the other, more Diablo-esque approach is less fun and more difficult.


This is why I loved Gothic 2 (and the original), although it’s indeed difficult as hell in the beginning when you’re figuring out what you can fight.

To amplify what the other guys said: just explore the world as much as you can, pick up all available quests, slaughter the animals, focus your skill points in either one-handed or two-handed swords, and save very frequently. There are lots of little easter-eggy bonuses (e.g. eating 50 of a particular item gives you a small strength boost). You get stat bonuses by donating to the shrines and the priest in the city. I think you have to change the game’s config file to enable it, but it is possible to create a hotkey for drinking health potions, which is invaluable in combat.

Honestly, the first time I played it I did get kind of overwhelmed by all the reloading and didn’t finish it. I went back and played the first Gothic and then tried Gothic 2 again, this time using tips from gamefaqs to make sure I didn’t do anything counterproductive with my skill points. Also, I specialized in two-handed weapons (supposedly easier because of their long reach) and was murdering everything by the end of the game. I’d love to play it again sometime with a mage build.

The bow and arrow combined with rocks that the AI can’t jump up to, is your friend.
Sword smithing makes a crap load of money.
Armour tends to be the thing that decides where you can or can’t go.

  • Remember that you can outrun nearly everything - don’t be afraid to run for it and come back with a different strategy. You must run from mnay things for quite a while.

  • Most mobs have clear signals. You’ll see them get agitated when you get too close but before you actually aggro them - learn the signals so you can pull individual mobs and/or understand when you’re in too deep (or how close you can approach stuff when exploring etc). Mobs also give up chasing after a while, usually with a signal (Orcs will roar, then turn back, for example).

-Lure to other NPCs, as suggested.

  • When you get to Khorinis, exhaust every quest you can and explore the immediate surrounds as best you can. Circle around the outside walls and nearby looking for some hidden encounters. You want to be at least lvl 5 and hopefully 8-10 before you really set out to see the rest of the world.

  • Explore, explore, explore (and then run). If you are careful and persist, you might be surprised how far you can travel into dangerous territory.

  • Potential combat exploit beyond, so stop here if you’d prefer…

You can set up a rhythmic sword swing that hits most (individual) mobs before they can attack, interrupting them. Repeat over and over.

Swing to the left. Watch for the sword to hit the top of the backswing and immediately swing to the right. When it hits the top, swing back to the left and so on. If you get the timing right, you can swing back and forward non-stop, without any openings. This is hard to do at the beginning but as you add to your sword skill, becomes easier (yes, when you first start, the game makes it intentionally hard to fight well).

Like I said in the other thread, beat up the mercenaries in the mercenary camp. As long as you don’t kill them there’s no long-term consequence for this and you get both experience and any of their possessions you care to take (I.e., all of them, since there’s not really a limit.) This makes the mercenary shopkeeper particularly useful because when you sell stuff to him, those items go into his inventory, and you can beat him senseless and take it back.

Of course, the mercenaries are strong fighters, so you don’t want to try them out right off the bat (even if you survived getting there), but you should (iirc) be able to take most of them on by late in Chapter 1, assuming you do as much exploring and such as you can.

Look under every rock between Xardas´ tower and the city. There are quite a few secret areas in, behind and around the tower. The loot can make a difference early on.

Of course save often and in different slots.

The bandit problem close to the first farm can be solved without violence. You can talk yourself out of it. The “Get access to the city” quest is also wide open for creative solutions.

G2 has two different combat systems, one for the mouse and the one similar to a shooter (ASDW + LMB). The latter is the first choice, I think, but YMMV. Try a gamepad if you have one.
If you win close to 50% against goblins and other small stuff you´re doing fine. It will get better quickly. Just remember not to waste skill points on secondary things.

Don’t forget to use your potions and scrolls.

Stay away from orcs in the beginning.

If you go the mage rout, summon goblins is great to distract bigger enemies, like trolls.

Learn alchemy, it pays of in spades.

Somebody in the other thread said the game is significantly harder with Night of the Raven installed, and recommended a difficulty patch. Would you guys say that’s advisable for a new player?

Edit: Rad. I just found this cool little tips guide, which has good info about little UI niggles and tells about how to set up potion hotkeys and such.

Edit 2: Ha ha! I can’t stop adding stuff! Any thoughts on the combat modes (G1 vs G2)? Upthread JD says he doesn’t like the G2 version, saying it’s more difficult, but it sounds like it gives more opportunities for dodging in combat. Any preferences?

I found that the Gothic II version was killer against NPCs: you can just hold down the block button (RMB, for me) and continually click the attack button (LMB), and you pretty much devastate them, then block any return attack. It’s not completely infallible, but it works quite well. You can’t block wildlife, though, so trying to do that against a wolf or a shadowbeast or something is asking to die.

I just started G2 also, and I have the boxed version with the mini-start guide. There’s a tutorial in it about getting from the tower to the first city, and the guide tells you to leave the goblin cave alone for now until you’re stronger. That made me LOL because it’s the 2nd mob you encounter in the game; he’s right in front of a cave opening, and the game expects you to bypass it for now.
Not a very promising start IMO. I’m all for challenging games, but for a game that’s all about exploration, don’t put a cave in front of me in the first 10 minutes and tell me I should leave it alone until I’m stronger.

I just got to the farm, and I don’t hate the game so far.

Which is a hell of a lot more than i could say for Oblivion.
Bravo, Gothic 2!

The game doesn’t tell you to leave it alone. It’s there for you to explore. In fact, if you follow the cave down to the bottom of the cliff, you’ll meet an old friend.

His mini-guide told him to leave it alone.

But no, you don’t have to do so. I think I tried a couple of times and died and then came back to it, but I can’t remember for certain.

What sold me was going to the farm. A wolf walked by and attacked a pig. For some reason, that hooked me on the game. Also, once you get used to the combat system, I actually really like it.

Gothic 2 is my all-time favorite RPG. (Or maybe it’s tied with Ultima IV). I loved the initial challenge followed by the satisfaction of advancement and accomplishment. Plus I thought it had a perfectly designed world with its one large (amazing) city to explore and all the surrounding villages and wilderness and later the orc sections. I also enjoyed the realistic NPC behavior and schedules. Plus all the interactive items like the hookah! Awesome. You’re in for a treat!

Yes. The point I was making is that he was criticising the game based on the advice of the bundled tips guide, which was bad advice anyway.

No no, wrong. The mini-guide is in the manual that came with the gold edition of the game. It’s the developers manual, not an included prima thing or 3rd party thing. Mini-guide is probably a misnomer. Technically it’s called the Quick Start Manual, which has this tutorial section in it.

And it doesn’t actually recommend you don’t deal with that goblin; it recommends you avoid the cave that’s there: “For the moment, why don’t you make a mental note of the entrance and return later”

I’m finally ready to go into Kharakis, having wiped out all the mobs I can. Pretty much anything that’s not a “Young” or a “Weak” version can kick my ass, and that’s disheartening.

As for the thieving in the game; is it possible to steal shit and not have people instantly know you took their shit? The first farmer was frighteningly well informed about the disposition of his “Farmers Clothes”.

One question:

I played through the original Gothic and enjoyed it quite a bit. I wouldn’t exactly say “loved it” as it was pretty darn buggy as I recall.

How does Gothic2 stack up in the QA dept?